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Toyota Transport Deploys CNG-Powered Car Hauler

Toyota Transport, the automaker’s in-house vehicle transportation trucking company, deployed its first car hauler that runs on CNG. The CNG truck, which is based in Long Beach, California, was commissioned by Toyota and designed and built in a joint collaboration with Peterbilt and Cottrell, the truck and trailer manufacturers.

“We started exploring the CNG option more than three years ago, and it has been worth the wait,” said Kirk Welch, Senior Analyst, Toyota Transport Compliance. “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and will help Toyota advance our environmental efforts to reduce fleet emissions.”

Initially, the placement of alternate fuel tanks presented a challenge for car haulers using a nine car trailer with an over-the-cab head rack.  However, working with Toyota’s specifications, Peterbilt and Cottrell were able to develop a tractor/trailer combination that accommodated the alternate fuel tanks, without compromising the extra vehicle hauling space of the head rack. The achievement marks the first full car hauler trailer with head rack that Cottrell has manufactured onto a CNG truck.

Toyota Transport’s southern California Vehicle Delivery Operations in Long Beach and Mira Loma have 32 trucks in service, and the group delivers approximately 200,000 vehicles annually. Most of its car hauler trucks average more than 100,000 miles per year. With plans to deploy the truck locally out of Long Beach as a test, the company will evaluate the truck’s performance and efficiency. The CNG truck is expected to drive an average of 7,000 to 8,000 miles per month.

The purchase of the truck advances Toyota’s own environmental endeavors and efforts in its support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program, the public-private initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution created by freight transportation in corporate supply chains.